Early Childhood mental health program
The Early Childhood Mental Health Program (ECMH) at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland provides a range of specialized mental health services for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families. The main focus of the program is on children from birth to age 3, but children can receive services up to age 6. The program also houses the Parent Infant Program (PIP), a well-known early intervention program for children with developmental disabilities, the Irving B. Harris Early Childhood Mental Health Training Program and allied programs offering community services for infants and young children.
Staff of the program includes psychologists, developmental specialists, clinical social workers, and MFTs. Our staff is diverse and multilingual, as are our clients. ECMH works closely with medical groups in the hospital such as the Neonatal Follow-Up Program and other specialty care groups. Training at the Early Childhood Mental Health Program offer many opportunities to work in multidisciplinary teams, to learn about complex systems of care, and to build clinical skills working with infants and young children and their families using a relationship-based model. The Early Childhood Mental Health Program has a large staff that is organized into specialty teams.
These teams include:
- Two Community Attachment and Relationship Enhancement (CARE) teams which provide a community-based infant and early childhood mental health program to the general community. These services are clinic and home-based.
- Families in Recovery Staying Together (F.I.R.S.T.)—This program provides services in residential drug treatment programs. Our teams have worked with the drug treatment staff to design group and dyadic treatment services to support women in recovery and their children.
- Therapeutic Guidance for Infants and Families (TGIF)—This program provides group and dyadic treatment services to children and families who are in the child welfare system.
- An assessment team provides specialized relationship and developmental assessment for all of the teams.
- Fussy Baby Team - providing support and treatment for caregivers of infants with crying, sleeping and feeding problems.
- Therapeutic visitation - This program provides short-term therapeutic support for families and children involved in Family Court.
The Early Childhood Mental Health Training Program has psychology training opportunities for:
- Psychology Fellows
Psychology fellows will
be assigned to a primary team and will have a variety of training opportunities with an advanced level of responsibility practice, treatment planning and assessments, and opportunities to carry out community consultations
- Practicum Students
Practicum students will be involved in group programs.
Goals of the Training
In addition to the common goals of the psychology training program, a primary placement in the Early Childhood Mental Health Program incorporates these goals:
- To develop a theoretical base that supports work with infants, toddlers and their families.
- To learn a model of dyadic/family therapy which is grounded in best practices and current evidence-based practices.
- To learn techniques and approaches appropriate for group/parent therapy and for parent/child dyadic groups in a variety of settings.
- To learn how to work on multidisciplinary teams and build skills in consultation and collaboration with a variety of service systems such as drug treatment, social services, education and family support services.
- To become familiar with a variety of assessment procedures appropriate to the needs of very young children and their families.
- To develop skills to work in diverse communities in a way that is responsive to the culture and context of those settings.
Supervisors and Training Staff
Marlene Crespo, PhD
Donna Davidovitz, PhD
Laura Frame, PhD, LCSW
Sara Grunstein, LCSW
Mary Claire Heffron, PhD
Barbara Ivins, PhD
Lucia Milburn, PhD
Ayannakai Nalo, LCSW
Ellen Salwen, PhD
For application information click here.